Surveyors are usually involved in litigation in the capacity of expert witnesses. In this position, they perform three essential functions. First, they identify, introduce and authenticates necessary documents and other details or information that are relevant to the disputed area.
The second function is that they explain the importance of specific information and how it is used to help fix the position of boundaries. And lastly, they give conclusions: a conclusive opinion on the location of all the boundaries and other related matters. If they perform the number one and two functions the right way, they will establish their credibility with the court.
If they appear credible, their opinions will be accepted by the court without the surveyor having an excellent and clear comprehension or understanding of the underlying basis and facts for their views. Clients are well served by lawyers who spend a lot of time checking all the facts and evaluating the surveyor in their role as a professional and expert. There are different aspects of the surveyor’s services that the lawyer needs to examine.
Some surveyors don’t make good sources or experts because they are not capable of handling the stress of the job. A lot of these professionals like Long Island expert witness surveying are respected and competent practitioners, but don’t portray sagacity or confidence in stressful situations.
The horror of sitting as a witness in a court coupled with the hostile attention of the lawyer, judge and jury members usually leaves these professionals struggling for simple ideas, looking for answers, struggling for words, saying nonsensical response, sweating profusely and shaking uncontrollably.
A lot of lawyers have left the court convinced that most surveyors had messed up testimonies and surveys, but they must have been involved in unsolved crimes given their demeanor when they are on the witness stand. Given that surveying is very technical in nature, and it is very difficult to explain technical terms and testimonies, an excellent demeanor is a significant factor that needs to be cultivated.
In technical and complex statements like the one for boundary litigation, technically, an incompetent professional is judged to be a competent and credible witness since they have a calm and a superior demeanor instead of the content of their testimonies.
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Quality of work
Lawyers also need to evaluate the depth and scope of the surveyor’s job. Usually, the root of the deficiencies in professional services can be traced to surveyors willing to regulate the services that are based on prices the consumer is willing to pay coupled with cost-conscious customers.
The purpose of the services can also play a significant role in the quality of their work. The mortgage inspection that is used to get financing is a different service compared to the boundary retracement survey that can be used to prepare an erect improvements or description.
In this regard, these professionals are no different than lawyers. What could lawyers admit that they provide the same quality of estate planning to blue-collar workers with a $5,000 savings compared to billionaires? What these lawyers spend the same amount of time on a deed for a $50,000 house as they spend on preparing a case worth $1,000,000?
Likewise, surveys that are performed for a harvesting company may not be sufficient when it comes to basing an opinion when it comes to a $50,000 lawsuit that can occur a couple of years later. Not only that, to be discovered by the lawyer are professional surveyors who arrived at a particular opinion without complete information or details that are not credible, cannot be offered as an evident or not reliable.
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Opinions formed without looking at every relevant information or without gathering enough evidence is usually determined to be susceptible to impeachment or are not trustworthy. The situation can cause a surprise for most experienced lawyers when they realize that surveyors did not correctly perform a search or limited all the measurements to specific corner monuments that are convenient and failed to use monuments are more credible but usually inconvenient.
Nevertheless, the surveyor’s role as an expert in the investigation is very important. It must be approached with a willingness to properly communicate, accept the difficulty of the job and a motivation to help or educate others when they are providing testimony in a case or litigation.